CBH nominations open

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Cally DupeCountryman

It’s the most heated agricultural election in WA — the race for control of the CBH board.

Nominations officially opened today, with three positions up for contention across three of the grain handler’s member director election districts.

Each position is for a three-year term in districts one, two and four.

The farming co-operative’s 12-person board is made up of nine grower member directors, from five of its election districts, and three independent directors.

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There will be at least one shake-up to the board this election, after District 1 director Rod Madden revealled he planned to step down.

Member director incumbents Vern Dempster (District 2) and Wally Newman (District 4) both plan to defend their seats.

A Newdegate farmer, Mr Newman said he planned to renominate for another term, with hopes to remain CBH chairman when the board voted at the CBH’s annual general meeting on February 20.

“That is the board’s call ... the board determines who the chairman is going to be, you don’t get a say in it yourself,” he said.

“It is subject to board approval.”

Mr Newman has served as chairman since August 2014, after first being elected to the board in 2000.

He served as deputy chairman from 2008 until 2012, and was last re-elected as the District 4 representative in 2017.

Mr Dempster, who farms at Northam, also plans to renominate for the seat he has held on the CBH board for the past 11 years.

He faced stiff competition from Cunderdin grower Stuart Mussared in District 2 during the 2017 election, winning by just seven votes. In April, Mr Dempster ended an almost five-year tenure as CBH board vice-chairman, a position he had held almost consecutively since April 2013.

Mr Dempster said he believed the board needed “continuity”, with Mr Madden’s retirement marking the third change to CBH’s 11-person board in two years.

The two director changes, made at the CBH AGM in February, included one grower director and one independent director.

Mukinbudin farmer Jeff Seaby replaced Yelbeni farmer Derek Clauson, who retired.

At this year’s AGM, CBH appointed former Craig Mostyn Group chief executive David Lock as an independent director, replacing David Willis, who stepped down from both the CBH and Interflour boards after seven years.

Last year’s election attracted one of the biggest candidate pools in memory, with five candidates going head-to-head for one spot for District 4, while two candidates competed in Districts 2 and 3.

Board nominations will close on January 2, with the candidates officially announced that week. Ballot packs will be mailed to members in Districts 1, 2 and 4 on January 10.

Votes should be in before the close of the poll at 10am on February 17.

Results will be announced later that day, and the successful nominees will be inducted at the CBH AGM in Perth on February 20.

To nominate, contact WAEC returning officer Phil Richards at phil.richards @waec. wa.gov.au.

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